Truagh Gaels 2-21
“I've told them, they have lost nothing in defeat today,” said Kiltane manager Martin Barrett just after he walked out of a heartbroken dressing room under the Cusack Stand on Sunday evening. And he was right. While the game didn't end up as they had hoped, there was not one man in blue and gold who didn't give their all on the grass in Croke Park, they just came up against better team on the day. And in Daniel McKenna the Truagh Gaels had a man who played out of his skin for 60 minutes. He finished up with 1-7 from play, scoring all but one point of that total in the first-half, but he had a hand in almost every score that his side kicked on over the hour.
The game was played at a frantic pace, with the first half in particular a see-saw affair that at one stage after six minutes saw Kiltane leading by four points, despite them not having raised a single white flag yet. Truagh had gone into an early two point lead thanks to scores from Paudie and Daniel McKenna. But Kiltane struck back in anger, with two goals in as many minutes. First Darragh Carey rustled the back of the net from the penalty spot after Tommy Conroy's run had been brought to a crashing halt. Not long after Mikey Sweeney cracked a effort from distance past Ian Treanor in the Truagh goal, and the blue and gold army were in full voice in the Cusack Stand.
But the Monaghan men, were't rattled by the early setbacks and went about re-arranging their rearguard, dropping Paudie McKenna back in front of their full back line to offer some extra-protection which he did superbly. Daniel McKenna and Shane Lindsay swapped points before the victors struck their first goal. Daniel McKenna was the man who finished a brilliant move to the back of the net after being played in by Páuric Treanor. The same man leveled the game up from close range before Chrissy McKenna pushed them back in front. Nine minutes before the break, the fourth goal of the game arrived. Treanor launched a high diagonal ball into Mark Counihan who collected it well before applying a neat finish to leave the score at 2-5 to 2-1 in favour of the Ulster men. Counihan swiftly added on another point, to stretch the lead out even more. Kiltane were really under the cosh at this stage, with the Truagh inside forward line of Daniel McKenna, Counihan and Adam Treanor all making smart runs into space. While the quality off ball being delivered into them was second to none, coming into them with pace and accuracy along with support runners breaking from the back to offer assistance all the time.
But Kiltane didn't buckle and kept the scoreboard ticking over coming up to the break with Tony Gaughan and Jason Healy hitting monster points from well out the field and Edmund Barrett and John Reilly getting in on the scoring action as they went in trailing by only four points on a score of 2-10 to 2-6 at the break.
The second half opened with Adam Treanor kicking the opening point after only a few seconds, but for the majority of the next 20 minutes it was all Kiltane as they outscored their opponents by 0-6 to 0-2 to cut the gap back to the bare minimum with ten minutes left on the clock. A brace of points from Healy, along with scores from Lindsay, Ultan Corrigan, Barrett and Mikey Sweeney left the scoreboard at 2-13 to 2-12 and Kiltane were on top. They were also clocking up the wides though kicking six in that period and they kept trying to work goal chances when taking a point may have been the better option. The did force Ian Treanor in the Truagh goal into two excellent saves and saw another effort that looked destined for the net blocked by a last ditch block from a defender. But that was as good as it got really for the Mayo men as Truagh roared back into life in the final ten minutes and from the 51st to 57th minute they rolled off six points. Paudie McKenna kicked three of them with Adam Treanor chipping in with a brace and Chrissy McKenna the other, to kill off the Kiltane challenge as time ticked down. There was still time for sub Séan McKenna to add on two scores in the final seconds to seal the deal for the deserving winners.
It just wasn't to be for Kiltane on the day, they left their heart and souls out on the field and never gave up hope until the end, with the likes of Pat Joe Gaughan, Ultan Corrigan, Mikey Sweeney and Tony Gaughan taking the game to the Ulster men at every opportunity and working their socks off in defence when needed. It's been some adventure for the Kiltane men, the only pity was that it had to end in defeat.
Truagh Gaels: D McKenna 1-7, P McKenna 0-4 (1f ), M Counihan 1-1, A Treanor 0-4, C McKenna 0-2 (1f ), S McKenna 0-2, D Finnegan 0-1
Kiltane: M Sweeney 1-1, D Carey 1-0 (pen ), E Barrett 0-3 (2f ), J Healy 0-3 (1 ’45 ), S Lindsay 0-2, U Corrigan 0-2, T Gaughan 0-1, J Reilly 0-1.
Kiltane: MJ Reilly; D Carey, R Corrigan, S Sweeney; PJ Gaughan, T Gaughan, S Gaughan; J Reilly, J Healy; U Corrigan, S Carey, E Barrett; M Sweeney, S Lindsay, T Conroy. Subs: M Gallagher for D Carey (18 ).
Truagh Gaels: I Treanor; J McCarron, N Feely, N McQuillan; N McRory, R Treanor, P McKenna; B Cuddy, P Treanor; M Counihan, C McKenna, E Kelly; D McKenna, D Finnegan, A Treanor. Subs: N Coyle for Kelly (39 ), K Sheerin for McRory (49 ), S McKenna for Finnegan (52 ), J Treanor for R Treanor (54 ), D McRory for A Treanor (59 ), A Coyle for Counihan (62 ).
Ref: A Nolan (Wicklow )